Construction season is back!
If you've traveled North on Highway 52 in the last couple of weeks, you've undoubtedly noticed all of the construction underway.
And with all of that construction, comes the inevitable delays in travel.
The good news is that though this Highway 52 project is causing major delays, and headaches, for motorists, there are many long-term benefits that will come about as a result.
If you're traveling North on Highway 52, expect many periods of one-lane traffic,
including around mile marker 66, as well as mile marker 70 near Pine Island, at times causing stand-still traffic during peak rush hours.
The major congestion, however, is happening around Zumbrota, where an estimated $5.5 to $6 million road project is underway.
The project is broken down into three stages, with an end goal of a new bridge with wider shoulders, improved verticals over Highway 52, as well as improved bicycle and pedestrian mobility.
But for now, current one-lane traffic and the closure of the Highway 52 North on-ramp and Highway 52 South off-ramp in Zumbrota are making the end result seem less apparent.
15-year-old Zumbrota resident Trey Lexvold said the ramp closure has made it harder to get to various spots in town, such as a major fast food chain.
"It just kind of makes it hard to get to McDonalds over there because you've gotta take the back roads and stuff," explained Lexvold, who lives in Zumbrota with his family.
17-year-old Lesly Jimenez lives in Blanchester but works in Pine Island.
She said she also frequents Rochester because she has friends in town, so she's no stranger to construction traffic.
"Coming home from Rochester, there's always so much traffic and I always have to stop. Sometimes, you come to a complete stop and you're there for like five to ten minutes waiting for cars, so it's been a little bit annoying," said Jimenez.
The Zumbrota project, again, is broken down into three stages with the hope of concluding in summer of 2018.
If you need to travel on Highway 52, be sure to give yourself some extra time.
Some people have reported it taking nearly two hours to get from Rochester to the Twin Cities.
For more on the project, head over to this link from MnDOT: